Skip to main content

Box 13 - Single Episodes

Audio Preview

Box 13 - Single Episodes

BOX 13

"Adventure wanted -- will go anywhere, do anything -- Box 13."

The premise of the program was that Dan Holiday was an author who wrote mystery novels. To get ideas for his novels he placed an advertisement in a newspaper saying "Adventure wanted, will go anywhere, do anything, Box 13." The ads always brought fun adventures of all kinds: from racketeer's victim to psychotic killer looking for fun. Most of the episodes were based on Dan Holiday replying to a letter he received at Box 13.

He would generally solve a mystery in the process, and return to his office in time to enjoy a hearty laugh at the expense of Suzy, his amusingly stupid secretary. He would certainly not meet the strictest requirements for private eyes (not licensed, collected no fees from clients), but the definition should stretch to sneak him in under the rope.

In total there were 52 episodes of this radio program created. It was heard over the Mutual Broadcasting System as well as being syndicated. The series was produced by Mayfair Productions.

Box 13, starring Alan Ladd as Dan Holiday. Sylvia Picker played Suzy, Dan Holiday's secretary and Edmond MacDonald as Lt. Kling. Other stars in the series were Betty Lou Gerson, Lurene Tuttle, Alan Reed, Luis Van Rooten, John Beal and Frank Lovejoy. Music was by Rudy Schrager and the writer was Russell Hughes. Announcer/Director was Vern Carstensen. The series was produced by Richard Sanville with Alan Ladd as co-producer.

From the Old Time Radio Researcher's Group. See "Note" Section below for more information on the OTRR.



This is a production of the Old Time Radio Researchers Group located at Old Time Radio Researchers Website and the Old Time Radio Researchers Group.

It contains the most complete and accurate version of this series in the best sound possible at the time of creation. An updated version will be issued if more episodes or better sounding ones become available.

If you are interested in preserving old time radio, you may wish to join the Old Time Radio Researchers Group at Yahoo.

This is the Single Episode Page. The Certified Set includes extras not found here. It is located at OTRR Certified Set. This page is provided in case you want to sample the shows.

Note that in many cases, file names have been modified from the original OTRR names to conform to naming requirements.

Relax, listen, and enjoy!

OTRR Definitions:

OTRR Certified Accurate -- A series that is Certified Accurate indicates that all the episodes are properly identified and labeled but that the series does not contain all known extant episodes.

OTRR Certified Complete -- A series that is Certified Complete is the highest level of certification available under the OTRR Certified Standards. This certification level implies that all the files in the series are Certified Accurate but also indicates that the series is as complete as possible – it includes all extant episodes.


Reviewer: rmodel - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 19, 2017
Subject: Box 13
Well I just finished all the episodes of Box 13.
I know I will miss Alan and his witty character.
Alan left us way to soon before his time.
I use to have a mailing address, R.R Box 13 years ago,
long before I ran across this fine gem of a series.
Thanks to all who keep old time radio alive for those
who enjoy the past.
Reviewer: Ottawarapids - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 6, 2015
Subject: box 13 quote
"I'd put that guy Burgess and Peter Rabbit outta business'. lol
Reviewer: MTSRadio - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 29, 2014
Subject: Alan Ladd Appreciation
I'm writing this as appreciation for Box 13's lead actor, Alan Ladd. Great voice. He's not playing a cop, merely an amateur sleuth who happens to be a writer looking for new story inspirations. Ladd proved in his movies he was capable playing a hard-boiled detective, and it's his narratives that guide listeners through Box 13 scenarios he gets involved in. "Double Mothers" episode finds him caring for a child (probably an adult actress imitating a child), Ladd displays subtle compassion that later gave depth to his portrayal of movie gunfighter "Shane." If Ladd had not died so unexpectedly, he could have made a living as narrator, doing voice-over audio for media. At least we have this radio show. Judging by the success of his offspring, they learned-inherited a lot from him.
Reviewer: CharliesAunt - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 13, 2014
Subject: Those were the days
I have only just discovered this little gem. It appears that it was never known here in England. I like the incidental music, as it adds to the effect. It's a real period piece. This is not to detract from the plot and acting, which, when you place it in its time, really are very good.
Great stuff!
Reviewer: j.randel.dancing - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 7, 2013
Subject: more sophisticated than most.
By the end of the era, most of the detective series had become so formulaic that it was difficult to tell one episode from another. Box 13 was a well produced break from the standard cliches. It was more sophisticated than most and had both dialog and sound effects that gave the stories a richness that was fading fast by the time the war ended. Alan Ladd was superb and his supporting cast was fun with complete characters and a marvelous sense of timing. The plots were usually not as hokey as the standard radio show of it's time and there was something about the banter that gives the show a flow. The actors never seemed bored or burned out. Perhaps that is just the benefit of only doing 52 shows, but I like to think not. I like to read the old pulp detective story collections from that time and Box 13 is far ahead of most of them. Johnny Dollar with Bob Bailey is another one that is never tiring. Let George Do It, also with Bob Bailey is probably my favorite, but the race between Let George Do It and Box 13 is too close to call. I want to thank who ever uploaded these. It is a treasure.
Reviewer: Man from Arles - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 4, 2013
Subject: It just doesn't get any better!
Reviewer: Man from Arles - - September 3, 2013
Subject: Superb Radio
Just "stumbled across" Box 13... What a fortuitous delight!
Great cast (Ladd) and production values.

With only 52 episodes, will have to ration them out slowly, for maximum enjoyment.

Far, far superior to Johnny Dollar, not to mention the disappointing nearly-slapstick Sam Spade.
Reviewer: stargazer1701a - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 18, 2012
Subject: Theatre for my mind
I’m with Dangerman 44. I totally adore this show. It’s jam-packed with all the clichés of the pulp detective thrills of the 30s and 40s. They don’t make ‘em like they used to, THAT’s for sure!!! To me, Box 13 is like a warm cozy old blanket.
Reviewer: katperrr - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 8, 2012
Subject: What is the last episode?
Always enjoy listening to Box 13; sorry Ladd never got to make it a weekly t.v. show.
Reviewer: mrk65 - favoritefavorite - February 2, 2012
Subject: Box 13....not so good.
To each his own, but I find this series poorly written, which in turn makes the acting sound amateurish. Some plot lines are improbable and some quite hokey. Plus, the fact that the lead character is willing to perform his services for free is really unbelievable.
If one were stuck on a long road trip, the programs might be somewhat tolerable.
Reviewer: out of stone - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 30, 2012
Subject: Inoffensive fun.
Anyone who finds Suzy ‘offensive to women’ (last reviewer suggests some may) really wouldn’t be listening to OTR. As it happens, I find it quite offensive to common sense that people would criticise feminine-interest or ‘fluff’ roles merely because the female character is not kick-boxing, gun-toting or sword-wielding her way through a story. Why people feel the need to apologise for it is beyond me.
Reviewer: eh_ver - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 7, 2011
Subject: What's in Box 13?
Easily my favorite radio show of all time. Alan Ladd and his Mayfair Productions company really made this show pop in a radio detective drama I had previously been unaware of: the classifieds detective. I don't have another title for it, but it fits in with "Let George Do It" and (somewhat)"Rocky Fortune" as an altruistic investigator who happens upon adventure through relative unintentional means. 52 episodes were not enough, but if you listen to this and are eager for more, check out both of the previously mentioned. "Let George Do It" is especially similar, started earlier and even has a much more independant female lead. There's something really fantastic about "Box 13", regardless.

A brief summary is Dan Holiday (even sharing a similar name to "George"'s George Valentine), a bored and uninspired fiction writer, takes out an add in the paper, offering his help in, well, anything, as long as it results in an interesting adventure. Being a classic radio hero, he often gripes about the situations he gets himself in, but always comes out the hero, regardless. His sounding board is Suzy, a flaky secretary who constantly misinterprets things. She can be seen as offensive to women, but I see her more as her own woman who is just silly for the sake of silliness. There are plenty of stong women in the show, otherwise. Dan also has his very own policeman foil who becomes a great character in his own right and really comes through as helpful, as the series goes on, rather than an obstacle, like many other shows (Boston Blackie, being an example). His role teeters off towards the end, which is really a shame, but I'm guessing the writers may've seen him as an ex machina, Dan's "get out of trouble" card, and in some ways, the episodes without him are the stronger for it. All in all, a great show for fans of the genre.
Reviewer: aeonix - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 25, 2011
Subject: Entertaining & Witty
Looking for adventure, will go anywhere, will do anything... and oh brother, does Dan Holiday ever! From frame-ups, to murders, hold-ups and more, Box 13 and the tale of a writer looking for adventure will bring you on a journey worth repeating.
Reviewer: Dangerman44 - favoritefavoritefavorite - February 4, 2011
Subject: The number 13
I enjoy listening to Box 13 while relaxing after work.The stories take my mind off of the days hassle. If you like adventure and the willingness of your mind to just go away and be elsewhere , then listen here to Box 13.
Uplevel BACK
In Collection
Old Time Radio
In Collection
Radio Programs
Uploaded by
on 11/19/2006
SIMILAR ITEMS (based on metadata)
Old Time Radio
by Old Time Radio Researchers Group
eye 1M
favorite 204
comment 9
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 9 reviews )
Old Time Radio
by Old Time Radio Researchers Group
eye 115,485
favorite 46
comment 3
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 3 reviews )
Old Time Radio
by Old Time Radio Researchers Group
eye 2.2M
favorite 235
comment 25
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 25 reviews )
Old Time Radio
by Old Time Radio Researchers Group
eye 151,584
favorite 53
comment 9
favoritefavoritefavorite ( 9 reviews )
Old Time Radio
by Old Time Radio Researchers Group
eye 268,751
favorite 68
comment 8
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 8 reviews )
Old Time Radio
by Old Time Radio Researchers Group
eye 282,355
favorite 151
comment 12
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 12 reviews )
Old Time Radio
by Old Time Radio Researchers Group
eye 202,474
favorite 120
comment 12
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 12 reviews )
Old Time Radio
by Old Time Radio Researchers Group
eye 29,799
favorite 24
comment 2
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 2 reviews )
Old Time Radio
by Old Time Radio Researchers Group
eye 438,281
favorite 135
comment 7
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 7 reviews )
Old Time Radio
by Old Time Radio Researchers Group
eye 77,974
favorite 13
comment 1
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )